Inspector Owen King says police will target drink and drug-driving in the region this weekend.
Inspector Owen King says police will target drink and drug-driving in the region this weekend.

30 schooners? I'll be right to drive

By EMMA O'NEILL news@northernstar.com.au A 35-YEAR-OLD Byron Bay man was too drunk to tell officers why he had consumed 30 schooners of beer before driving on Thursday night, police alleged.

It is believed that the man recorded a breath-test reading of 0.205, four times the legal limit.

He was pulled over at 11.45pm on Patterson Street, Byron Bay during a random breath test.

Inspector Owen King said there was nothing about the man's car or driving that caused him to be stopped, and that police had simply pulled the man over to conduct a random breath test.

"When the man was asked how much he had drunk that day, the man admitted to drinking 30 schooners," he said.

"To consume that much, he must have started drinking at about 10 or 11am." The man was charged with having high-range PCA and with being an unlicensed driver. Insp. King described the incident as disgraceful.

"Recording a blood alcohol reading that high shows a driver has total disregard for drink-driving laws," he said.

"It's disgraceful; the driver was putting the community and other road users at risk." Inspector King said an operation targeting drink and drug-affected drivers would take place this weekend. "The Tweed/Byron Area command has recorded the highest number of drink-driving incidents in the State for a number of years," he said.

"We continue to target that manner of driving and it's disappointing that locals continue to do it." During 2007, 1004 people were charged in the Byron/Tweed Area Command with drink-driving and 62 per cent of those charged resided within the Byron/Tweed Local Area Command.

Of the 1004 people charged, 198 of those recorded a high-range reading - a level which refers to a concentration of more than 0.15 grams of alcohol.

Police admit there is 'no easy fix' to the high level of drink-driving locally.

The man will face court on April 4.



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